Epidemiological Findings of Seasonal Changes in Mood and Behavior: A Telephone Survey of Montgomery County, Maryland

Siegfried Kasper, Thomas A. Wehr, John J. Bartko, Paul A. Gaist, Norman E. Rosenthal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Patterns of seasonal changes in mood and behavior in Montgomery County, Maryland, were evaluated in randomly selected household samples by lay interviewers using a telephone version of the Seasonal Pattern Assessment Questionnaire. The method for selecting the sample unit was random-digit dialing. We found that 92% of the survey subjects noticed seasonal changes of mood and behavior to varying degrees. For 27% of the sample seasonal changes were a problem and 4.3% to 10% of subjects, depending on the case-finding definition, rated a degree of seasonal impairment equivalent to that of patients with seasonal affective disorder. The seasonal pattern of “feeling worst” exhibited a bimodal distribution with a greater winter and a substantially lower summer peak (ratio, 4.5:1). Younger women who have a problem with seasonal changes and who feel worse on short days tended to exhibit the highest seasonality scores. It is apparent from our study that seasonal affective disorder represents the extreme end of the spectrum of seasonality that affects a large percentage of the general population. The influence of environmental factors on mood disorders and mood changes in the general population might provide valuable insight into pathogenesis, treatment, and prevention of affective illness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)823-833
Number of pages11
JournalArchives of General Psychiatry
Volume46
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Telephone
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Mood Disorders
Population
Emotions
Interviews
Surveys and Questionnaires
Mood
Therapeutics
Affective
Seasonality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Epidemiological Findings of Seasonal Changes in Mood and Behavior : A Telephone Survey of Montgomery County, Maryland. / Kasper, Siegfried; Wehr, Thomas A.; Bartko, John J.; Gaist, Paul A.; Rosenthal, Norman E.

In: Archives of General Psychiatry, Vol. 46, No. 9, 1989, p. 823-833.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Kasper, Siegfried ; Wehr, Thomas A. ; Bartko, John J. ; Gaist, Paul A. ; Rosenthal, Norman E. / Epidemiological Findings of Seasonal Changes in Mood and Behavior : A Telephone Survey of Montgomery County, Maryland. In: Archives of General Psychiatry. 1989 ; Vol. 46, No. 9. pp. 823-833.
@article{5ea4a947eafd4207a52d76734ee7baf7,
title = "Epidemiological Findings of Seasonal Changes in Mood and Behavior: A Telephone Survey of Montgomery County, Maryland",
abstract = "Patterns of seasonal changes in mood and behavior in Montgomery County, Maryland, were evaluated in randomly selected household samples by lay interviewers using a telephone version of the Seasonal Pattern Assessment Questionnaire. The method for selecting the sample unit was random-digit dialing. We found that 92{\%} of the survey subjects noticed seasonal changes of mood and behavior to varying degrees. For 27{\%} of the sample seasonal changes were a problem and 4.3{\%} to 10{\%} of subjects, depending on the case-finding definition, rated a degree of seasonal impairment equivalent to that of patients with seasonal affective disorder. The seasonal pattern of “feeling worst” exhibited a bimodal distribution with a greater winter and a substantially lower summer peak (ratio, 4.5:1). Younger women who have a problem with seasonal changes and who feel worse on short days tended to exhibit the highest seasonality scores. It is apparent from our study that seasonal affective disorder represents the extreme end of the spectrum of seasonality that affects a large percentage of the general population. The influence of environmental factors on mood disorders and mood changes in the general population might provide valuable insight into pathogenesis, treatment, and prevention of affective illness.",
author = "Siegfried Kasper and Wehr, {Thomas A.} and Bartko, {John J.} and Gaist, {Paul A.} and Rosenthal, {Norman E.}",
year = "1989",
doi = "10.1001/archpsyc.1989.01810090065010",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "46",
pages = "823--833",
journal = "JAMA Psychiatry",
issn = "2168-622X",
publisher = "American Medical Association",
number = "9",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Epidemiological Findings of Seasonal Changes in Mood and Behavior

T2 - A Telephone Survey of Montgomery County, Maryland

AU - Kasper, Siegfried

AU - Wehr, Thomas A.

AU - Bartko, John J.

AU - Gaist, Paul A.

AU - Rosenthal, Norman E.

PY - 1989

Y1 - 1989

N2 - Patterns of seasonal changes in mood and behavior in Montgomery County, Maryland, were evaluated in randomly selected household samples by lay interviewers using a telephone version of the Seasonal Pattern Assessment Questionnaire. The method for selecting the sample unit was random-digit dialing. We found that 92% of the survey subjects noticed seasonal changes of mood and behavior to varying degrees. For 27% of the sample seasonal changes were a problem and 4.3% to 10% of subjects, depending on the case-finding definition, rated a degree of seasonal impairment equivalent to that of patients with seasonal affective disorder. The seasonal pattern of “feeling worst” exhibited a bimodal distribution with a greater winter and a substantially lower summer peak (ratio, 4.5:1). Younger women who have a problem with seasonal changes and who feel worse on short days tended to exhibit the highest seasonality scores. It is apparent from our study that seasonal affective disorder represents the extreme end of the spectrum of seasonality that affects a large percentage of the general population. The influence of environmental factors on mood disorders and mood changes in the general population might provide valuable insight into pathogenesis, treatment, and prevention of affective illness.

AB - Patterns of seasonal changes in mood and behavior in Montgomery County, Maryland, were evaluated in randomly selected household samples by lay interviewers using a telephone version of the Seasonal Pattern Assessment Questionnaire. The method for selecting the sample unit was random-digit dialing. We found that 92% of the survey subjects noticed seasonal changes of mood and behavior to varying degrees. For 27% of the sample seasonal changes were a problem and 4.3% to 10% of subjects, depending on the case-finding definition, rated a degree of seasonal impairment equivalent to that of patients with seasonal affective disorder. The seasonal pattern of “feeling worst” exhibited a bimodal distribution with a greater winter and a substantially lower summer peak (ratio, 4.5:1). Younger women who have a problem with seasonal changes and who feel worse on short days tended to exhibit the highest seasonality scores. It is apparent from our study that seasonal affective disorder represents the extreme end of the spectrum of seasonality that affects a large percentage of the general population. The influence of environmental factors on mood disorders and mood changes in the general population might provide valuable insight into pathogenesis, treatment, and prevention of affective illness.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0024458649&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0024458649&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1001/archpsyc.1989.01810090065010

DO - 10.1001/archpsyc.1989.01810090065010

M3 - Article

C2 - 2789026

AN - SCOPUS:0024458649

VL - 46

SP - 823

EP - 833

JO - JAMA Psychiatry

JF - JAMA Psychiatry

SN - 2168-622X

IS - 9

ER -